Two years ago, we were gobsmacked when humble Lotus shocked the automotive world by wheeling out no fewer than five new models – admittedly in various stages of development – at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The ambitious onslaught of new sheetmetal came at the behest of then-CEO Danny Bahar who aimed to broaden the British marque's appeal by dramatically expanding its portfolio. Bahar was later thrown out by new Malaysian owners DRB-Hicom in a management shakeup that seems to still be, well, shaking out. Bahar was deposed over accusations of financial wrongdoing and the controversial executive has fired back with a $10.6M lawsuit.
Against this chaotic background, a cornerstone of Lotus' revival plans hinged on the rebirth of its Esprit supercar (shown in 2010 concept form above). According to new reports, however, the Esprit has been cancelled, a victim of the company's uncertain finances and direction. Depending on which rumor you choose to believe, the two-seat coupe was slated to receive a house-built V8 and possibly turbocharging or hybrid power. That may all be moot now, however, as DRB-Hicom is reported to have scrapped Bahar's plans wholesale, a development that apparently includes killing off the mid-engined Esprit, too.
UPDATE: And this, friends, is why we have this story with a question mark and a Rumormill tag – Lotus is denying that the Esprit has been killed off.